Date: April 06, 2016
Author: Mark Hayes

Day feeling right at ease in Augusta

Jason Day admits a feeling of ease at the Masters.

He also admits to revelling in the mantle of world No.1 and entering the gates of Augusta National as a major champion for the first time.

Yet the Queenslander says he doesn’t deserve the tag of favouritism he will carry when the fabled tournament begins this week.

Day, 28, has become adept at carrying the burden of expectations – often his own – into majors.

But this morning at a packed media conference befitting a man who’s won his past two events and six of his past 13 on the US PGA Tour, including the US PGA Championship, he admitted his comfort and a sense of belonging.

“It's a good feeling to be here, No.1 in the world and coming off the back of how I've been playing has been fantastic,” he said.

“I feel comfortable around this course. I know it sets up well for me. It's a golf course that I can compete and play well and win.

“But I know that I can't take it for granted, because obviously in this game, things can change pretty quickly.

“To be honest, I don't think I'm the favourite this week. There's a lot of people out there that can play well this week and win.

“Jordan (Spieth) and Rory (McIlroy) and Henrik (Stenson), how he's playing lately, and even Phil (Mickelson) is a favourite here.

“I think it's good for the game of golf and I think it's good for this tournament.”

Day finished equal second on debut at Augusta National in 2011, then was third behind mate and countryman Adam Scott two years later.

And the Queenslander admitted that early success sampler tasted sweeter than he probably needed.

“I enjoy coming here and I enjoy being on the grounds and playing the tournament,” Day said of Augusta National.

“Then as time went on, everyone would keep on asking me … `When are you going to win it?’ and `How are you going to win it?’ and all that stuff.

“I guess I thought about it and (internally said), `I've got to kind of force it this year’ and that's when I started missing stuff and making mistakes and mental errors. I kind of shot myself out of tournaments.

“So this year, I'm not going to say it's going to be different.  I'm just going to go through my normal game plan and just play, try and play the way I have been and hopefully I'll give it a good run at the end of the week.”